Teaching to Learning in Singapore

Rebecca Lim’s article on the BBC website titled “Singapore wants creativity not cramming” offers more evidence of the global shift from teaching to learning.

For years, Singapore has maintained high scores on standardized tests. Although this is a point of pride, it is no longer good enough for Singapore’s Minister for Education, Heng Swee Keat.

He has challenged schools to move away from memorizing facts to “…discern truths from untruths, connect seemingly disparate dots, and create knowledge even as the context changes.” Keat feels this will be much more helpful for students who will be taking on the challenges of the next 20 years.

It’s no surprise that some schools are turning to project-based methods to help students synthesize, rather than just memorize, information.

The article highlights an example where students were given mobile devices and asked to document a wildlife area to see if man-made actions were at fault for several animal deaths.

Science teacher Lin Lixun said ”In one activity, I can cover three topics.”

“They can really learn through hands-on experience and putting things into action.” added civics and moral education teacher, Joslyn Huang.

Going even further down the road, sociologist and former Nominated Member of Parliament, Paulin Straughan, suggested doing away with the PSLE – a national examination that all students take at the end of primary school.

She said “If we do that, we free the school from this obsession of testing, and the teachers and educators can focus on teaching and learning.”

Read the full article here: Singapore wants creativity not cramming

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